Episode 95 Summary

  • Bec Mills had struggled with her weight for her entire adult life, beginning when she completed high school. She was heavily involved in competitive sport during her teenage years. She participated in competitive swimming and kayaking. When she stopped all of the sport, she continued to eat the same types and quantity of food and began to store additional fat.
  • Bec was trapped on the dieting rollercoaster from her teens, having joined Weight Watchers when she was 18. She found herself dieting ever since.  Each time she would repeat the same pattern. She would lose weight but then put it back on again, often with more. She attempted many different plans and methods to control her weight gain. She tried shakes, calorie counting and gym challenges where she would brutally punish her body, exercising for hours in the gym. At the same time she would restrict calories. This led to binge-eating.
  • Bec was diagnosed with PCOS at 41 years of age. She was introduced to keto by her personal trainer at the time. She had experimented with keto in the past but this time she threw everything into it and the weight started coming off. She added in a fasting regime. 
  • Keto was effective for weight loss and for improving signs of insulin resistance like skin tags, but Bec found herself still trapped in the dieting mentality and tried out fads, like ‘egg fasts’ and protein sparing modified fasting, still looking for that “quick fix”. She found herself fasting excessively, eating processed keto food, but still binging on carbs at times. The processed keto foods flared her IBS symptoms. She felt sick every day, with mood disturbances and increased hair fall.  
  • Bec was inspired by the Real Life Medicine podcasts. The stories from other women resonated with her and she decided to sign up to the 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance. One of her favourite podcasts was You can‘t hate yourself thin”.
  • Following the 12 week program Bec is now able to approach decisions with a completely different mindset. She asks herself “Is it helpful?” For the first time in 25 years she prioritises her health and wellbeing over weight loss. She has broken free of the unhelpful pattern that she felt trapped in. Bec is no longer binging and her weight has been steadily decreasing. She has lost a total of 29kgs since March and is feeling like her very best self, physically and mentally. She looks forward to a healthier future.
  • Based on information from the gut health module, Bec has implemented changes which are successfully improving her IBS symptoms. 
  • Many women have been conditioned to think that thinner is better. We have been conditioned to believe that we’ll have more friends, be more attractive and people will like us more if we’re thinner. This is the toxic message behind diet culture. Instead, we need to shift our focus to health and wellness, like Bec has.
  • The next round of the 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance commences on September 3. 
Click here to learn more about the 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance

Show  notes: 

Episode 95: Getting Off the Diet Roller Coaster.


Dr Mary Barson: (0:11) Hello, my lovely listeners. I'm Dr. Mary Barson.


Dr Lucy Burns: (0:15) And I'm Dr. Lucy Burns. Welcome to this episode of Real Health and Weight Loss. 


(0:23) Good morning, gorgeous listeners. It's Dr. Lucy here. I have a slightly husky and at times ‘coughy’ voice as I'm recovering from COVID. But feeling much, much better. So thank you for everybody who has sent me little messages. This morning, we have another fabulous guest, because as you know, Dr. Mary is still on maternity leave. And we from time to time bring you real people. So our podcast follows one of three patterns, either it's Dr. Mary and myself yakking on, or it's me interviewing a guest expert, or it's me chatting with a real life person. So this morning, I have the absolute pleasure of chatting with a real life person and I would love to welcome to the podcast, Bec. Good morning, Bec. How are you?


Bec Mills: (1:10) Good morning. I'm fabulous. Thank you for having me.


Dr Lucy Burns: (1:14)  Oh, excellent. No, we are super pleased to have you. I think that real life journeys are so helpful for people because they see themselves in so many stories like yours and various other guests’ stories. So, we love from time to time peppering in real life journeys. So Bec, what I'd love is for you to perhaps just fill our audience in on who you are, and then how you found Real Life Medicine and where you went from there.


Bec Mills: (1:43) So I'm 42 and married. I have a teenage daughter. Well, actually, she's an adult now, because she's 18. I've been keto for about 15 months and I've dropped a fair bit of weight since then. And I guess, when you start these things, you try to get as much information as you can. And that was where I found your podcast. And I just loved it. It was just real. And it was Australian, which is a big bonus, because there isn't a lot of Australian content out there and it just went from there. I listened to a couple of success stories. I think it was - I did make some notes - Raylene and Shari. And that was when I decided to join the 12 week programme.


Dr Lucy Burns: (2:36) Wonderful, wonderful. So it's interesting, isn't it? Because you're right! At the start of your journey, you do, you become a little bit obsessed! Well, I did. And I know lots of people did. And you're listening, and you're looking and I think it can be tricky, though, because there's actually truckloads of content out there, isn't there?


Bec Mills: (2:54) Yeah, there is heaps of content, and that was part of my problem. Because what I do is, I've listened to something and then I think, “Oh, I'm going to try that.” Or I'd listen to something else. So I did crazy things like an egg fast this week, and then I'll drop more weight and then I'll do a protein sparing modified fast, and I'll drop more weight.  I just kept doing all these crazy things that I thought would be a quick fix. So I'd never got out of that diet mindset that I'd been in for 25 years, basically, where I'd lose weight and put it back on. And so while I thought I mean, eating that way was definitely helping because I had things like my skin tags go away, and all that. So that was working. But my mind obviously wasn't where it should be.


Dr Lucy Burns: (3:43) Yep. Yep. I think it's so interesting, because you're right. I think a lot of people start a low carb or keto diet, still in diet culture, and it's not their fault. They've been, we've all been conditioned and as you've heard me say many times - I'm an expert dieter - but recognising that the thing you have to do to lose the weight is the same thing that you do to maintain the weight. So you don't want to be on an egg fast for your whole life.


Bec Mills: (4:13) Yes, you really end up not liking eggs after a week.


Dr Lucy Burns: (4:18)  And I think so many people fall into the trap of being very weight loss focused and don't care about the process.


Bec Mills: (4:28)  Absolutely. 100% I was losing my hair, I was tired and not sleeping. My iron was low. Just lots of things, even though my weight was good, obviously, my body wasn't healthy.


Dr Lucy Burns: (4:45)  Yeah, absolutely and I don't know if I've said this on the podcast, but it has been in my mind this week. People say, “What's the fastest way to lose weight?” And I'll say, “Yeah, chop off a leg”. And they kind of go “Hahaha… no”.  It's essentially the same thing because you can chop off a leg, you'll lose 10 kilos, but you're sacrificing your body to do it. 


Bec Mills: (5:05) Yeah.


Dr Lucy Burns: (5:07) And we do it the same when we do these extreme dieting measures.


Bec Mills: (5:10) And that's what I've done my whole life. I would join a gym. I’d do whatever programme they were running. There was one I was doing where I would do two classes in the morning, and then two classes at night and eat 1200 calories. And yeah I dropped weight, but then at the end of that 12 weeks when all the prizes had been handed out, I just go and binge, because I'd be so tired and rundown and I'd get sick and get injuries. The things I did to myself, I realised were just so cruel.


Dr Lucy Burns: (5:43)  Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yes. In the quest of having a smaller body. But you know, I think that it's certainly not women's fault that we do that because we're conditioned to believe that being thinner is better. That you're a better person, more people will like you more, you're more attractive. The thinner you are, the better you are. 


Bec Mills: (6:05) Yep. 100%. 


Dr Lucy Burns: (6:06) Yeah. So I think we need to be kind to ourselves, give ourselves some grace and recognise that the stuff we did is not, and you hear us say it a lot. Being overweight is not your fault. It's so easy just to blame the person. And same with this crazy dieting that we've all done. That's not our fault, either. We were taught to do that. 


Bec Mills: (6:30)Totally agree. 


Dr Lucy Burns: (6:06) Yeah. I love it! So you came across the podcast and thought “Oh goody, I like these ladies. Hey, good. And then what happened? So then you decided to join the 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance?


Bec Mills: (6:43) Yes. 


Dr Lucy Burns: (6:44) Wonderful! 


Bec Mills: (6:45) Oh, and my whole way of thinking changed. So I think the big thing I keep saying to myself now is,  “Is this helpful? Is this going to help me get to where my goals are?” I changed a lot of things. I stopped going to the gym, I joined a pilates class. So I do that in the mornings now. So I don't, I don't ache. My knees don't hurt. I can exercise and I feel good about it. I think one of the podcasts, “You can't hate yourself thin”, I think was the title, is one that really resonated with me.


Dr Lucy Burns: (7:21) Wonderful. We'll link that in the show notes. lovelies to go back and have a look at that, but yes.,


Bec Mills: (7:25) Yeah, that just made it really, really, it got into my head and that's when I thought I've been doing this for so long. A couple of the other things I've changed is the gut health module. I've had IBS for as long as I can remember, well, I had all the tests and that's what they came up with. You have IBS, which, I think, means “We can't find anything else, so that's what we're going to put it down to”. So the stress has really helped with that. All the stress modules. And I've started making my own kefir and eating sauerkraut, and it has really helped the last couple of weeks. I've felt a lot better than I have in a long time with all my gut issues.


Dr Lucy Burns: (8:09)  Yep. And you know what, what I love too, is, I mean, unpacking those two points. One, we think that going to a gym - and for some people, they like to go to a gym - but you don't have to go to a gym to do movement. Again, I was the same. I used to do lots of aerobics. I grew up in the 80s and aerobics was the thing. The more you did, the better it was going to be. Because again, it was all about the quest for thindom. Where in fact we actually know that exercise per se. on its own.  It's not the reason people lose weight. Exercise has lots of benefits for us, mental health, bone health, muscle strength. But, because people use it as a calorie component to burn calories. It doesn't work like that.


Bec Mills: (9:00) No. And as you get older, you need to realise that you can't do the same exercise you used to do. You can't do classes at a gym to burn those calories because then you can't walk the next day.


Dr Lucy Burns: (9:13) Yeah. And also do you want to? That's the other thing. I think lots of people don't want to be spending hours in the gym doing that.


Bec Mills: (9:21) No, and this lovely group of ladies that I do pilates with in the mornings. It's just such a nice way to start the day. I get to work and I feel relaxed. I know I've done my exercise and the totally different mindset that I'm in. I don't wake up and go, “Oh, gotta go to the gym”. I wake up, “Okay, off to pilates”.


Dr Lucy Burns: (9:42) I love that. And what you're describing then is that you've changed the way you look at exercise. Instead of being a brutal regime, you found a way to make exercise part of your life that is something you look forward to. So it's a movement that is pleasurable. rather than one that is punitive?


Bec Mills: (10:02) Yes. 100%. 


Dr Lucy Burns: (10:05) So it's so interesting, isn't it then. I guess the big change, the transformation for you in doing the 12 week Mind Body Rebalance has really been about your mind?


Bec Mills: (10:14) Yes. Things like binge eating. Even though I was keto for about 15 months and I thought, I'm doing the right thing, I'm eating the right thing because my weight was going down. But if it was somebody's birthday, or we were just going out for lunch, I'd think all week, “Oh, well, we're going out, um, I'll have something on the weekend”. And then I would wake up Fluffy because I'd have a piece of cake. Although I think I showed you in one of our groups, I've renamed my Fluffy, ‘Spike’, the little gremlin, because he just doesn't come out and growl. He just takes over the whole city and destroys everything. So for the next few days after I do that, I would just eat anything I could get my hands on. And then by Monday, back to it. No carbs on Monday. And then it takes a couple of days and you start to feel okay again, and I'd go along and then something had happened or we'd go somewhere and there we go and out comes Spike again!


Dr Lucy Burns: (11:19) Yep. Yeah, I think there are lots of different theories on how people should approach their food, if you like. So, you know, there's one set of people that believe that nothing should be off limits, because that creates a deprivation mindset. And then the more it's off limits, the more you want it. And I kind of get that, except I think there's a level further that we can go down to help with that. But for a lot of people, even when you say to yourself like you did, “It's fine. I'm going to have a little bit of cake on the weekend. One bit of cake is not going to cause obesity”. We know that one little bit, isn't going to, it's not the cause. But that one little bit can be the slippery slope.


Bec Mills: (12:08) Yes, I have learned that I am not a moderator. I am an abstainer. But once I am abstaining, I don't miss it. Once Spike or Fluffy is asleep, it's fine. I don't go looking for these. If people are having doughnuts at work, I just look at it and go, “Yeah, that's okay. That's great. I don't need one”.


Dr Lucy Burns: (12:32) Yeah. And it then becomes something that rather than yearning and looking at that doughnut, wishing you could have it or waiting until the end of a challenge or a programme to have it - because again, that's the other thing that often dieting does - and I'm always mindful when people call the 12 Week Mind Body rebalance a challenge. I’ll go, “Well it's actually not a challenge. It's an educational programme that takes 12 weeks to deliver. But it doesn't finish at the end. It's not like at the end, you go back and do what you did. It's more about learning the things that you need to do to be able to do this permanently”.


Bec Mills: (13:14) Yeah. And to look at it as well, instead of me saying, “Oh, those doughnuts are bad. It's a bad food. I won't eat doughnuts.” Now I'd look at it and say,”Is that helpful? If I eat that doughnut? How's that helpful to me?” It might taste nice for five seconds, but then I'm going to spend the next three days fighting those cravings again.


Dr Lucy Burns: (13:34) Yeah, yes! And God I love that! You've absolutely implemented that lesson that we love, which is, it’s not judgement. It's not I can't, there's no deprivation, there's no good or bad, there's no naughty, because a lot of people talk about that. Oh, and having cheat days! The language is so important.


Bec Mills: (13:55) The other one, “I don't eat cake”. Instead of “I can't eat cake”. That's a big one. Even the other day, I had a really rotten day at work. It was just so busy. When I came home, I ate my low carb dinner and then I got up and I went to the cupboard and I held a bottle of wine in my hand and I thought, “Is this helpful? Do I really need this?” And I thought, “No!” and I put it back and actually went to bed.


Dr Lucy Burns: (14:26) I love that. I love that. And again, because it just creates that moment for you to make a rational decision on what you want to do, rather than just reactive. You can then, you give yourself that time and again, you may have the answer that “Yes, I do want that wine” and again, that may or may not be helpful. You get to decide because you're the boss of you. But again, just giving yourself that pause is good. And then the next day you may decide that it actually wasn't that helpful. What sort of stuff have you learned in the 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance to help with that situation? You know, you do that SLC, so the self compassion.


Bec Mills: (15:10) I think I do everything with self compassion now. Instead of just thinking about weight loss all the time, I'm thinking about health. It has been huge for me, because I feel for the past 25 years, that's all I've thought about. I was always on a diet. I was always doing a challenge. I was always just focused on those numbers on the scales and for the first time ever, I'm thinking about how I'm feeling. And I'm thinking about my gut, which as I said, has been an issue for so long. And it was just something that I always pushed to the background because whatever crazy thing I was doing, this is what I'm supposed to be eating to lose weight. I can't believe how cruel I've almost been to my body over the years. But like you was saying, that's what we're told to do! We count the calories, we go to the gym, we eat this and that, and whatever is in that meal plan that they're telling us to eat. But for now, I'm thinking, I just want to heal everything, I want my gut to be good. Even when I had been doing keto for 15 months, I was eating a lot of sweet keto treats that I was making nearly every night and the sweetness would upset my stomach, but they tasted good, so I’d keep eating it. But now I'm eating real food, I barely ever use those sweeteners in anything, so that settled down and my whole mindset has changed. It really has. It's been remarkable.


Dr Lucy Burns: (16:46) I'm so happy for you Bec because it really, it is the absolute key, I think. There's lots of ways that people can eat and we've got our way that works for us and the majority of our clients But I'm not so arrogant to assume that our way is the only way. I know that there are other ways. But the way that you need to be able to eat is the way that that works for you with real food as the basis. Then for the majority of people that we help, low carb real food is then that second level for it. Then combining that with learning how to manage your mind so that you can do it forever, not just for 12 weeks or eight weeks or whatever your challenge is.


Bec Mills: (17:31) Yes. I think for the first time in my life, I'm being kind to myself.


Dr Lucy Burns: (17:37) Yes. Yeah. Because you know what? We've grown up in the culture where thin was best and you would use - well I did - and you probably did too, use negative talk to try and motivate yourself.


Bec Mills: (17:51) Yeah


Dr Lucy Burns: (17:52) “Come on, move your lazy ass! Stop being a guts”, would be one of my lines. “You're such a greedy guts!” And when you think about that, it's not a very nice thing to say to yourself that you're a greedy guts, because we're not! We're not greedy! We're just trying.


Bec Mills: (18:08) Yeah, I would say horrible things to myself all the time. “Why did you eat that?” Yeah.


Dr Lucy Burns: (18:15) What sort of things did you say?


Bec Mills: (18:16) That I never stick to anything. Yes. “Why? Why did you eat that?” and “Oh, I've ruined the day today because I've eaten this. I may as well just keep going all day”. Oh, it's hard to think about now because I haven't been in that mindset for a little.


Dr Lucy Burns: (18:32) Yeah, excellent. Well, we don't want you to go back there, that's for sure. But you know, I remember I used to have pictures of supermodels around my mirror. This is again when I was much younger to try and motivate me. But in actual fact, I mean, I don't have the physique of a supermodel. I will never be a supermodel. I don't need to be a supermodel. My worth is way more than whatever my physical appearance looks like. But that's not what we were taught as young women,it was all that you're only worthy, or you're only valuable, if you're beautiful and have a perfect body.


Bec Mills: (19:13) Yes, I was very active. When I was young. I was a swimmer and a kayaker and I had that really good body. But when I finished school, of course, I stopped doing a lot of that exercise and you start working and everything and I put on a little bit of weight because that was a big thing. I wish in hindsight, I had to realise but I’d eat five weet-bix for breakfast. But that was okay when I was swimming five K's a day. But even then I'd put on maybe five kilos. So I was not a size eight. I was a size 12 and that was perfectly acceptable. Now I look back and I think if I had just stayed and realised then that that was a healthy, happy place to be I wouldn't have started this whole up and down roller coaster that I've been on with my weight the rest of my life.


Dr Lucy Burns: (20:05) Yeah, yeah, yeah. Acceptance that that health has bodies that are all shapes and sizes and you don't have to be a lean mean muscle machine to be healthy and beautiful and acceptable to society. 


Bec Mills: (20:21) Yeah.


Dr Lucy Burns: (20:05) Do you know one of the things though? When you said you ate five weetbix, again, I'm gonna say that that's not our fault either. Because the ads, four weetbix, they encourage people to eat as many as possible. I think their slogan goes something like “How many do you do?” So you've got Brett Lee there eating nine WeetBix, or whatever it is. If you go to their package, the serving size of WeetBix is two. So they're actively encouraging people to overeat the number of serving sizes in competition.


Bec Mills: (20:56) Yes, and things like NutriGrain. I would just snack on NutriGrain all day. I mean, they had swimmers and surfers and everyone as their mascot. So that was what we were supposed to eat. We were swimming. We were doing all this exercise. We should be eating Nutrigrain. The highest sugar content, I think, out of all of them.


Dr Lucy Burns: (21:16) Absolutely. And this is one of the sneaky, sneaky marketing tricks that comes. Again, it's so subliminal.  As you said, they've got pictures of people that you identify with and I can tell you, I don't reckon they're eating Nutrigrain all day. They're not doing it, but again, we don't think of that. You just go “Yeah, I'm like them, I'm going to do this”. I remember feeding mine those little nutrigrain as snacks when she was about two. I’d just take a little tub out and if she was crying or something and I needed a moment, I’d just shove her out one of those.


Bec Mills: (21:50) Yeah, I wish I knew now what I did when my daughter was young.


Dr Lucy Burns: (21:55) I know. I know. 


Bec Mills: (21:57) Oh hindsight.


Dr Lucy Burns: (21:58) Yeah, absolutely, but again, kindness to ourselves. It's not our fault. This is what we were taught, marketed to, advertised to.


Bec Mills:  (22:07) Yes. Even eat everything that's on your plate. She'd say, “I’m full Mum”. And I’d then look at it and think, “No, you haven't eaten enough!”


Dr Lucy Burns: (22:15) Yeah, yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I know, children have internal regulation systems around hunger and satiety. So hunger and fullness. And we as adults, because of our anxiety, try to override them for them.


Bec Mills:  (22:31) Yes. 


Dr Lucy Burns: (22:32) So funny, isn't it?


Bec Mills: (22:33) It is. And that was something that our parents did to us. And yeah, that's just what we did. And then I think, “Oh, did you eat enough? Maybe not? Okay, you better have a yoghurt after dinner, because maybe you didn't eat enough?”


Dr Lucy Burns: (22:46) Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, yeah, I know. And we use that stupid train to shove food into them and all sorts of things. It's just, it is just amazing. But again, it's just conditioning. Your parents do to you. You see it on television, you see it everywhere. So much of our behaviour around food is conditioned by what we see happening in movies, in ads, in family life. 


Bec Mills: (23:13) Yeah. 


Dr Lucy Burns: (23:15) So darling if there are people out there listening who are interested in joining the 12 week Mind Body Rebalance, but they're perhaps sitting on the fence, what would you say to them?


Bec Mills: (23:26) Do it! Jump in! Don't think about it, just give it a go. Because it just changes your whole mind. Even if you think, like I thought I was eating well, being keto for that amount of time. And yes, I was losing weight and I still have lost more weight while doing the programme. It hasn't stopped because I'm doing this of course. But I'm doing it and feeling good about it. At the same time, I'm not hating myself, I'm not talking badly to myself. I'm enjoying learning how to look after myself for the first time in a very long time.


Dr Lucy Burns: (24:02) Oh Bec, I love that! I love that! Wonderful. Well, thank you so much for joining us on the podcast today because I think that real life journeys are what bring our podcast to life and that's what we want  to do.


Bec Mills: (24:18) Thank you so much for having me.


Dr Lucy Burns: (24:21) Welcome. Welcome. Have a wonderful day!  Gorgeous ones, if you've been inspired by Bec and you'd love to join the 12 week Mind Body Rebalance, you can join the waitlist, but the doors open next week. August 29 is when we're open for enrollments. If you'd like to join the waitlist, just head to our website:  https://www.rlmedicine.com/12-week-waitlist

(24:46) So looking forward to seeing you. Bye for now.


Dr Lucy Burns (24:52) So, my lovely listeners, that ends this episode of Real Health and Weight Loss. I'm Dr. Lucy Burns.


Dr Mary Barson (25:00) And I'm Dr. Mary Barson. We’re from Real Life Medicine. To contact us, please visit rlmedicine.com.

Dr Lucy Burns  (25:10) And until next time, thanks for listening. The information shared on the Real Health and Weight Loss podcast, including show notes and links provides general information only. It is not a substitute, nor is it intended to provide individualised medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, nor can it be construed as such. Please consult your doctor for any medical concerns. 


Join the wait list for the last 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance for 2022
DISCLAIMER: This Podcast and any information, advice, opinions or statements within it do not constitute medical, health care or other professional advice, and are provided for general information purposes only. All care is taken in the preparation of the information in this Podcast.  Real Life Medicine does not make any representations or give any warranties about its accuracy, reliability, completeness or suitability for any particular purpose. This Podcast and any information, advice, opinions or statements within it are not to be used as a substitute for professional medical, psychology, psychiatric or other mental health care. Real Life Medicine recommends you seek  the advice of your doctor or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Inform your doctor of any changes you may make to your lifestyle and discuss these with your doctor. Do not disregard medical advice or delay visiting a medical professional because of something you hear in this Podcast. To the extent permissible by law Real Life Medicine will not be liable for any expenses, losses, damages (including indirect or consequential damages) or costs which might be incurred as a result of the information being inaccurate or incomplete in any way and for any reason. No part of this Podcast can be reproduced, redistributed, published, copied or duplicated in any form without the prior permission of Real Life Medicine.